High School SMILE Meeting
1999-00 -- 05-06 Academic Years
Computing

14 October 1997: Porter Johnson [IIT]

11 November 1997: Fred Schaal [Lane Tech]
Fred wanted to use an older basic program written in Tandy Basic on an IBM-compatible computer. Both have proprietary programs and he could not get GWBASIC to function. Since it was saved as a encoded file, a word processor could not read the program. GWBASIC is not on the later releases of generic MS DOS. Thus one should use an older version of MS DOS and get a compiler-interpreter. MS DOS 3.2 was about the most stable version and is in the IIT-SMILE disks so that almost any IBM type will operate. Note: Larger than 100 meg hard drives require later DOS's but will still boot up on floppy but most likely will not read the hard drive) 6.22+ versions are the next best. MS Basic versions react differently and above version 3.2 is needed for Pentium machines. (Problem in # of files open must be specified on >2 later releases, and sub-directory network).

Another problem is windows should be exited before using MS Basic. In W95 basic works through the MS DOS prompt in most cases. Set up a BAT file and them make the bat file an ICON.

It was suggested that Fred use another computer to read the BASIC program and save it ASCII so that it could be read by another BASIC program--probably without changes.

10 February 1998 Roy Coleman [Morgan Park HS]
Comment on James Coates article in Chicago Tribune: File names with a space created by some applications can be first renamed then deleted. For example, it is possible to create a file name with an internal space, which is difficult to delete. Of course, the DOS command del *.* will delete that file, as well as everything else in the [sub]directory.

07 December 2004: Don Kanner has obtained a free PC Screen Saver onto which you can load your own pictures as *.jpg or *.gif files, and play them sequentially as you wish.  The screen saver is available from the Download.com website:  http://www.download.com/.

25 January 2005: Roy Coleman [Morgan Park HS, physics]           NCLB and Miscellaneous Stuff 
Roy announced that a CD containing all information on the SMILE and SMART websites, as well as other information and programs, can be obtained for $10, plus any shipping costs. In particular, the CD contains programs for loading the Mozilla™ web browser to both PCs and Macintosh machines.  Porter Johnson has taken real advantage of a novel feature of the Mozilla™ browser -- the scale of print fonts can automatically be changed in Print Preview, so that a document can easily be adjusted to fit on, say, a single page.   Also, Charlotte Wood-Harrington said that this browser maintains better security with regard to "pop-ups" and "spyware" programs.

04 October 2005: Walter McDonald (CPS substitute teacher; VA X-ray technician)       Bits and Computers
Walter
passed around Playthink 612: Binary Abacus, taken from the book Playthinks by Ivan Moscovich [Workman Publishing, 2002; ISBN 0-7611-18268]:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0761118268/026-2213757-8924459.   If a computer processor has 6 switches, each representing 1 or 0 in their respective settings, it can represent numbers from 1 to 63.  For example, the decimal number 53D is equivalent to the binary number 110101B, whereas 63D is equivalent to 111111B.   Numbers may be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided in that processor, as long the numbers always remain in that rangeThanks for the info, Walter!

21 March 2006: Roy Coleman (Morgan Park HS, retired)                Software
Roy
called attention to the XnView website, http://www.xnview.com/en/index.html, which contains free software for conversion of image files to various formats, such as JPEG, GIF, and TIF. Then he touted the Google Earth website, http://earth.google.com/, which contains free downloadable software of graphical images of the earth, with the capability of magnification and localization.
Neat! Thanks, Roy.